National Health Insurance


In general, all foreign nationals who are issued a Resident Card are required to obtain National Health Insurance (Kokumin-kenko-hoken): international students and researchers are not exceptions.
This insurance not only covers 70% of your medical fees, but is required for extension of your visa. You can register for the insurance policy at your local ward/city office.

1. Coverage

As of 2014, 70% of the total medical fees are, in general, subsidized for holders of National Health Insurance.

Covered Not covered
medical examination
medical procedures and treatment
home care and nursing
hospital admission and nursing
(excluding food)
plastic surgery
health check-up
abortion due to non-medical reasons
diseases and injuries caused by fights or intoxication
dental materials

2. Where to register

at your local ward/city office

3. Insurance fees

Though fees vary depending on the ward/city, they are basically determined based on your annual income. If your annual income is only from part-time jobs, your premium fees are most likely to be reduced (scholarships are not considered as income): however, you need to claim the reduction by submitting the prescribed form to the local ward office between January to March EVERY YEAR. Pick up the form at the local ward office or at ISD.

4. How to claim

You need to present your National Health Insurance holder’s (hokensho) card each time you visit any medical institution: you will then pay only 30% of the total medical costs.
If you forget to present your card, you will be charged full medical fees: you may ask for the reimbursement later by presenting your card at the same institution within the same month.

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